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Arakawa Hiromu
荒川 弘

Arakawa's self-portrait depicting a bespectacled cow from Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 19
Born May 8, 1973 (1973-05-08) (age 36)
Hokkaidō, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Area(s) Manga artist and author
Notable works Fullmetal Alchemist

Hiromu Arakawa (荒川 弘 Arakawa Hiromu?, born May 8, 1973) is a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō. Her renowned manga, Fullmetal Alchemist, became a hit, and was later adapted into two television anime. She often portrays herself as a bespectacled cow.



Born on May 8, 1973 in Tokachi Hokkaidō, Japan, Arakawa was born and raised on a dairy farm with five sisters. Arakawa thought about being a manga artist "since [she] was little" and during her school years, she would often draw on textbooks. After graduating high school, she took oil painting classes once a month for seven years while working on her family's farm. During this time, she also created dōjinshi manga with her friends and drew yonkoma for a magazine.[1][2]

Arakawa started in the manga industry as an assistant to Hiroyuki Etō, author of Mahōjin Guru Guru.[3] Her own career began with the publication of Stray Dog in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan in 1999.[2] Stray Dog won the ninth 21st Century "Shōnen Gangan" Award.[1] She published one chapter of Shanghai Yōmakikai (上海妖魔鬼怪 Demons of Shanghai?) in Monthly Shōnen Gangan in 2000.[4] In July 2001, Arakawa published the first chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist in Monthly Shōnen Gangan.[5] When the studio Bones adapted it into an anime series, Arakawa aided them in developing it.[6] However, she later let them work alone in the making of the script so that both manga and anime would have different endings, and to develop the manga further.[2] The series won the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2004.[7]

She is currently living in Tokyo and has published three more works, Raiden 18, Souten no Koumori (蒼天の蝙蝠 Bat of Blue Sky?), and Hero Tales.[2][8][9] Arakawa makes Hero Tales along with Studio Flag under the name of Huang Jin Zhou. In the anime adaptation of the series, Arakawa was in charge of making the character designs.[10] She has also drawn the cover from the Japanese edition of the novel The Demon's Lexicon authored by Sarah Rees Brennan.[11]


  • Stray Dog (1999)
  • Shanghai Yōmakikai (上海妖魔鬼怪?, lit. "Demons of Shanghai") (2000)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師 Hagane no Renkinjutsushi?, lit. "Alchemist of Steel") (2001)
  • Raiden 18 (2005)
  • Sōten no Kōmori (蒼天の蝙蝠?, lit. "Bat of Blue Sky") (2006)
  • Hero Tales (獣神演武 Jūshin Enbu?) (2006)[12]



Arakawa states that Suihō Tagawa, the author of Norakuro, is the "root of [her] style as an artist". She also learned composition and drawing during her time as Hiroyuki Etō's assistant. She also cites Rumiko Takahashi, Shigeru Mizuki and Kinnikuman by Yudetamago as influences and is a fan of Mike Mignola's work.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c "インタビュー - 荒川弘" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on December 9, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wong, Amos (January 2006). "Equivalent Exchange". Newtype USA (A.D. Vision). 
  3. ^ a b Arakawa, Hiromu (June 2006). Fullmetal Alchemist Profiles. Viz Media. pp. 100–105. ISBN 1-4215-0768-4. 
  4. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (March 2000). "Shanghai Yōmakikai" (in Japanese). Monthly Shōnen Gangan (Square Enix). 
  5. ^ "Hiromu Arakawa". Viz Media. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  6. ^ Arakawa, Hiromu (2005). 鋼の錬金術師 パーフェクトガイドブック 2. Square Enix. pp. 168–172. ISBN 978-4757514263. 
  7. ^ a b "小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Raiden 18" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  9. ^ "New Manga Magazine from Square-Enix". September 29, 2006. Retrieved May 3, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Hero Tales Anime Staff, First Manga Compilation Announced". Anime News Network. June 22, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Fullmetal Alchemist's Arakawa Draws Cover for Irish Novelist". Anime News Network. April 28, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Jushin Enbu". Newtype USA 6 (12) 11. December 2007. ISSN 1541-4817.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Hiromu Arakawa is a Japanese mangaka and author of the popular manga and anime series titled Fullmetal Alchemist.


  • Is that why your self-portrait is a cow?
  • Yes, and because I think I look a little like a cartoon cow, so it fits.
  • In other words you were born with your destiny tied to cows. So, of course you must love cows?
  • Of course. I love to take care of them and also eat them.[1]
  • So between those two, if you lived in your own manga world, what would you be like?
  • I'd follow three simple rules: -Never go within 2KM of circus freaks. -Never go near the butcher shop in Dublith. -Always spend under 300 sens on snacks. That ought to keep me alive! (chuckle) [2]
    • Note:"circus freaks" refers to the alchemist characters within her manga.
  • Would you say any other manga artists have influenced you?
  • The manga artist that I look up to the most is Suiho Tagawa, the author of Norakuro. He is the root of my style as an artist. I also love Rumiko Takahashi and Kinnikuman or Ultimate Muscle by Yudetamago. As far as composition and how to draw, I learned that when I was apprenticed to Hiroyuki Eto, the author of Mahoujin Guru Guru for Shonen GanGan.[3]
  • Your first serialized work is a tremendous success all of a sudden. Tell us the whole story of how a newcomer come to have her works serialized.
  • At the beginning, I was contracted for a one-shot publication. However, the editor-in-charge of the storyboards passed down a request, "Let us serialise this, okay...". With a story that is meant to be completed in one chapter at this time, "How on earth am I going to do it?" (laughs). I pounded my brains for around half a month, thinking about ideas to serialise this work. [4]


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